Let’s move to
Wimborne Minster, Dorset
What’s going for it? There are two Wimborne Minsters, one fitting neatly inside the other like a matryoshka doll. Wimborne Model Town, recreating the “real” one outside, was built in the 1950s and its Eastmans family butcher, H Langer & Sons leather goods and Thomas The Tank Engine trainline are consequently straight out of Call The Midwife. You shrink to normal size, though, in the “real” doppelganger, not that you’d notice. Give or take the Vibe Lounge, wheelie bins and Costa Coffee, the town outside hasn’t changed that much since 1951. Old streets of porticoes and bay windows; white-haired ladies rocking the Queen’s hairdo; panama hats not beanies in the windows at Bartletts Menswear Specialists. It’s an ancient place, been around since the Saxons, so Wimborne takes the comings and goings of fashion in its stride. Which is probably why it’s so popular with retirees. And me. Sucker for a panama hat, me.
The case against Perhaps a little dull. It’s all about the quiet life and nice sourdough from Number 9 On The Green. Ravers, though, can large it in Bournemouth down the road. Well connected? Trains: no. Driving: you’re hard on the A31 for escape, if traffic lets you; half an hour to the beach and mainline rail at Bournemouth, 20 mins to the harbour at Poole, just under an hour to Southampton. Bournemouth Airport’s not far, too.
Schools Primaries: “good” schools, says Ofsted, with Allenbourn Middle, St John’s CofE First, Merley First, Beaucroft Foundation, Colehill First, Hayeswood First and St Catherine’s Catholic all “outstanding”. Secondaries: Queen Elizabeth’s is “good”, with Beaucroft Foundation “outstanding”.
Hang out at… The Tickled Pig – locally sourced food and friendly staff. The Butcher’s Dog for craft beer and butcher’s snacks.
Where to buy The centre is all cottages and townhouses, and utterly delightful. West Street’s gorgeous, but it’s West Borough, heading north out of town, that has the pick of places to choose from. Here, look at Rowlands Hill, St John’s Hill and around for weighty suburbans. There are flashier homes around Queen Anne Drive and Canford Magna, a village between Wimborne Minster and Poole. Large detacheds and townhouses, £600,000-£1.5m. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £300,000-£600,000. Semis, £275,000-£500,000. Terraces and cottages, £250,000-£425,000. Flats, £150,000-£400,000. Rentals: a one-bedroom flat, £650-£750pcm; a three-bedroom house, £1,000-£2,000pcm.
Bargain of the week Three-bedroom prewar semi, £300,000, needing serious modernisation; with hearnes.com
Do you live in Chester? Do you have a favourite haunt or pet hate? If so, email lets.move@ theguardian.com by next Tuesday.
Richard Ward ‘Eight Arch Brewing Company’s Friday Tap with great street food from Flaming Peaches. Long walks along the Jurassic Coast at Kimmeridge.’ Geoff Hardwicke ‘A great place to live if you’re middle-class and middleaged; surrounded on three sides by Dorset countryside.’